Kayla is someone whose company I both enjoy and appreciate, especially when squatching. She's a native of the Wabash River bottoms, and very familiar with trekking through the area, with, or without, a road to follow. Also, our families enjoy a friendship that has spanned generations.
My mother, and her grandmother, grew up together, in Southern Indiana. Kayla's grandfather, and my father, served in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam era, and they were close friends for many years. In fact, it was Kayla's grandfather, Tom Simmons, who placed our father's ashes where our mother is buried, in Saulmon Cemetery, near Poseyville, Indiana.
My father would be very pleased to know that it was the hands of his good friend and brother-Marine, that interred his ashes with such care and dignity, near my mother.
Tom is a local hunting guide, an avid fisherman, and an excellent cook. He and his wife, Shirley, own the Depot Diner, a historically significant restaurant, on the edge of Griffin, Indiana. If you're travelling via Interstate 64, through the Wabash Valley, please stop in for a bite to eat. The interior is quaint, the food is excellent, and the service comes with a genuine smile of appreciation.
Added to that, Kayla is U.S. military veteran as well, who served in the U.S Air Force. She's not afraid of the dark. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty, nor is she afraid to come along with me after sunset to go creeping into dark places, on the hunt for evidence of Sasquatch activity.
On this trip, we had some new places to investigate. Also, we had a sizable crew along. Ray (my son) and Leo were both able to join Kayla and I. Each of us had a partner which allowed us to separate into two groups, widening the areas we wanted to explore.
Kayla and I had visited two of the sites on our hit-list earlier, before joining up with the guys. In one area, we discovered a possible print in an embankment, near the cemetery. The other area was deleted from the search list due to it not being a good option.
We regrouped later with Ray and Leo, and got to the starting point at dusk. The guys were hyped and acting silly during the drive there. They wouldn't shut up. They were either laughing, or sharing stories of madness and mayhem. And, they joked about how they would manage to protect themselves from ticks and such.
I let them know that the first order of events they were in for was a long hike, through deep woods, to a remote cemetery I had been to during the previous fall. We arrived at dusk, but it was nearly dark under the tree canopy. The long shadows and dark woods sobered the guys up, and by the time we collected our gear and headed into the woods, they were being a good bit more serious about the trip.
The flashlights were clicked on, just a short distance into the woods, and we began to make some noise, talking, singing, etcetera. The woods were dark, but the scent in the air was fabulous! The smell of blooming trees in the heavy air made the atmosphere nearly intoxicating.
We widened out a bit, and Kayla took the point, calling out when she came across a tripping stump or road apples on the path. I was in the middle and the men behind me, with Ray guarding us from the rear.
Frequently we would call out, stop, do a little wood-knocking then get quiet and listen for a bit before moving on. But, we arrived at our destination without any responses.
The troop hung around the cemetery for a while. It's small, and peaceful. We didn't see any signs of activity in the area, and the only sounds we heard were voices, coming from somewhere to the east of us, in the direction of the Wabash.
We left the cemetery and woods to visit another forest area a good distance further up the river. The road we took was much dryer the last time I'd been on it. We'd had a heavy rain since then, and although it wasn't impassable, but our gang had to wade through some water to get to the tree line for calling and wood-knocking.
Even though we didn't get responses, we lingered a while because the place felt friendly and relaxed.
Later, we dropped off the guys, and Kayla and I decided to make one more stop, near the Underwear Tree, before calling it a night. We made some calls and knocks when we got there, but all was quiet.
We headed home with a picture of a possible print and the wonderful satisfaction a good time with friends brings. It's nice to get away from the normality of things, like cooking, vacuuming and doing the dishes.
Sorry, but I have to laugh at that last thought. My life has never been routine or normal in any way. God has always kept me living outside the box of the mundane, and I guess it suits me. I'm grateful for it.
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